First off I need to revise something from my "My First Report and Impressions of Branson, Missouri" posting of 2 May 2007. Traffic, I said "It reminds me of Las Vegas 30 or 40 years ago. Before it became so crowded that you can hardly move around". I have now had a little time to learn that Branson has a lot of traffic problems.
The main strip which is Highway 76 is mostly a two lane road and parts of it are being widened. The way Branson was built and the surrounding lakes, in order for you to travel from Branson to West Branson the only way is via 76 unless you go way around. There are some bypass routes but none of them go all the way around. They all converge on Highway 76 about 1/2 way to West Branson.
Saturday I wanted to go over to West Branson to the Walmart Supercenter and got to the Shepard of the Hills Historic Homestead, which is about 1/2 of the way to West Branson, and hit a solid wall of traffic. After 30 minutes of creeping along I finally turned around and went home.
Sunday morning I tried again and got a little further along and hit that wall of traffic again. Fortunately I was closer to the cause of the jam up and in a few minutes was past it. Turns out that Indian Point Resorts was having some sort of event that had the traffic backed up to get in. All this stretch of road is two lane so it doesn't take much before you are crawling along at a snails pace.
Additionally, the west end of the strip is piled up all the time for widening of the road. Now that I am resigned to the traffic situation I'm going to spend the next few days trying some of the bypass routes. The Branson City Elders have been aware of the traffic problem because they have devised an interesting scheme for their bypasses. The have a Red Route, a Blue Route and a Yellow Route. These bypass routes each only bypass parts of Highway 76 or the strip and take you a bit out of your way.
Until I have tried using these alternate routes I won't know how effective they are. I will pass along my experiences later when I provide my stay report for Branson.